Magister Patriarch Verspasian Kant of the White Order is a tall man of Tilean descent. Born in Miragliano, his merchant parents moved to Marienburg while Verspasian was still a young boy. Originally intending to follow in his fathers footsteps as a trader in antiquities, Verspasian showed more interest in the origin and history of the items his father sold rather than their monetary value.
It was only a matter of time before the boy discovered the library of Marienburg’s main university. Though he was too young to pass himself off as a student, Verspasian managed to gain favour with the motherly old librarian. Despite his father refusing to pay for an education beyond allowing Verspasian to learn how to read and write, the boy spent years reading his way through most of the books and scrolls the library had to offer, especially those concerning the ideas of great thinkers from across the world. Verspasian was enthralled by the quantity of words spoken and meanings found, all in the pursuit of truth.
Then came the day when his father’s ailing business failed. Hard times followed. The tale turns tragic, ending in the death of his mother through sickness and the suicide of his father. Verspasian was sent to one of Marienburg’s strict workhouses for orphan children where he stayed for a year, forbidden from leaving the premises, from reading, and from having any time alone.
After a year of appallingly hard work in miserable conditions, Verspasian was picked out of a line of other orphans to go to the Order of Light in distant Altdorf to study to become a Magister. Though he had never shown any supernatural abilities, the Hierophants who chose Verspasian sensed a latent, undeveloped Aethyric sensitivity and an inquisitiveness and passion for learning that could make him a valuable Apprentice to the Order. But Verspasian exceeded all expectations.
Apprenticed to Master Chanter Elrisse, a senior Magister of the Order, Verspasian quickly learned all the chants and invocations required of him and much more. But this was a dark time. An apprentice called van Horstmann, two levels up from Verspasian when he first joined, began to rise meteorically through the Order, shocking and impressing the Masters with his skill and insight. Eventually Horstmann was made a Magister, and in another two years, he was accepted as a Lord Magister of the First Level. In time Horstmann, whom Verspasian had long respected as a role model, became the youngest-ever Patriarch of the White Order. Verspasian, who had striven to stay hot on van Horstmann’s heels, was accepted as a Lord Magister of the Order less than a year later.
But all was not as it seemed. By chance, Verspasian learned Horstmann was a secret worshipper of the Chaos God Tzeentch, the source of his incredible rise to prominence. Verspasian felt utterly betrayed. All the respect and trust he had put in Horstmann over the years had been for nothing — worse, it had aided the powers of darkness to infiltrate the very upholder of light. But such was Horstmann’s skill at turning the minds of others to his will, many within the College had been corrupted and could not be trusted. So Verspasian took the unprecedented step of going outside the authority of the Colleges altogether and approached the Grand Theogonist Volkmar the Grim, who had been surprisingly even-handed in his dealings with the Colleges of Magic, something unknown among Sigmar’s Theogonists until then.
With Volkmar’s help, the aid of the highest ranking and most experienced Witch Hunters, and his own considerable skills in White Magic, Verspasian managed to undo much of the damage wrought by Horstmann and drive him from Altdorf. After that, the remaining Lord Magisters of the Order elected him as their new Patriarch.
- Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Realms of Sorcery (pg. 87-88).